Home >> News: March 31st, 2014 >> Story
Satnews Daily
March 31st, 2014

Sea Launch... Celebrates 15 Years Of Sending Spacecraft Skyward At Sea With Re-enactment Of Maiden Launch

[SatNewas] ...an impressive accomplishment given that at the time, DemoSat was the largest commercial satellite structure ever to be launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Sea Launch celebrated today the 15 year anniversary of the successful maiden launch of the Zenit-3SL ocean-based launch system with the DemoSat spacecraft that occurred on March 27, 1999.

Sea Launch’s inaugural launch validated the overall program concept and demonstrated system capability.  The payload for the first mission was designed to mimic the mass properties of a 4,500 kilogram spacecraft, with an optimized mission injection profile actually providing 4,900 kilograms of equivalent performance—an impressive accomplishment given that at the time, DemoSat was the largest commercial satellite structure ever to be launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

It was the culmination of four years (beginning in 1995) of intense development work performed by thousands of aerospace and marine professionals throughout the world.  Since then, Sea Launch has gone on to launch 35 times with its 36th mission (EUTELSAT 3B) scheduled for launch in mid-April.

Approximately 200 guests were on hand at the Home Port facility in Long Beach, California to participate in the celebrations including customers, dignitaries, suppliers, Sea Launch employees, Energia Logistics U.S. (ELUS) employees as well representatives from RSC Energia.

Dr. Valery Aliev, Executive Vice President Launch Operations for ELUS stated, “15 years ago the entire world witnessed a remarkable event in 20th century global space launch technology—the inaugural launch of the Sea Launch rocket. The media groups at that time included Sea Launch in the list of the top 100 most significant technological achievements in the world.”

Zenit 3SL

Dr. Vitaly Lopota, President and General Designer of RSC Energia added, “Sea Launch is the first international commercial project that included developing, creating and operating launch vehicle aerospace technology.  The initial concept of the project remains viable and unrivaled, and that is – to achieve maximum performance and cost efficiency for launching rockets by choosing the ideal launch site in the Pacific Ocean.  This choice avoids limitations of safety exclusion areas of national economic zones from being in the impact zone of jettisoned rocket elements, minimizes the required infrastructure while unequivocally increasing global sustainability of rocket launches and minimizing the impact on environmental conditions and safety of populated areas.” 

Sea Launch AG provides launch solutions to the industry’s satellite operator community based on the Zenit launch system. These services include the provision of all–inclusive launch services incorporating schedule assurance, financing, risk management; insurance and creative contracting solutions to meet the changing demands of the commercial launch market. Sea Launch owns or manages through affiliate agreements the primary technology, patent and other intellectual property and tangible assets required to perform its launch services business. These include the highly specialized vessels Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander each located in the Home Port facility in Long Beach, California, as well as the unique know–how associated with launching satellites from an ocean–based launch platform located directly on the equator. The Sea Launch system offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites, providing diversity of supply, affordability and flexibility for the industry's satellite operators. For more information, please visit the Sea Launch website here.